Monthly Archives: June 2015

Oklahoma City bomber executed: 11 June 2001 – This Day in History

Timothy McVeigh—convicted of the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, which killed 168 people in what was then the worst terrorist attack in the U.S.—was executed this day in 2001.

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1927: American aviator Charles A. Lindbergh was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge.

1898: The Guangxu emperor of China issued his first reform decree initiating the Hundred Days of Reform, an imperial attempt at renovating the Chinese state and social system.

1742: The empress Maria Theresa of Austria decided to make peace with Prussian King Frederick II, ceding almost all of Silesia to him in the Treaty of Breslau, which marked the end of the First Silesian War.

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica Online Daily

Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde premiered: 10 June 1865 – This Day in History

Tristan und Isolde, the earliest example of what Richard Wagner called “music drama,” was first performed this day in 1865 in Munich, Germany, and became the greatest German opera of the late 19th century.

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1940: Italy, under the rule of Benito Mussolini, declared war against France and Great Britain, entering World War II.

1868: Serbian Prince Michael III was assassinated, derailing the Balkan League‘s plans for a coordinated rebellion against the Ottomans and destroying the league.

1847: The Chicago Tribune, one of the leading daily American newspapers and long the dominant, sometimes strident, voice of the Midwest, began publication.

1819: Gustave Courbet, French painter and leader of the Realist movement, was born in Ornans.

1772: Rhode Islanders in the American colonies boarded and sank the British revenue cutter Gaspee in Narragansett Bay.

1190: Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (Frederick Barbarossa) drowned while trying to cross the Saleph River on the Third Crusade to the Holy Land.

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica Online Daily

Landslide reelection victory for Margaret Thatcher: 9 June 1983 – This Day in History

British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, buoyed by victory in the Falkland Islands War and by deep divisions within the opposition Labour Party, was easily reelected to a second term in office this day in 1983.

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1942: On this day the residents of the village of Lidice (now in the Czech Republic) were rounded up, most to be massacred the next day in reprisal for the assassination by Czech underground fighters of Reinhard Heydrich, deputy leader of the Nazi paramilitary group SS.

1940: German tank forces under Major General Erwin Rommel crossed the Seine River in a push to the Atlantic coast of France during World War II.

1891: American composer and lyricist Cole Porter was born in Peru, Indiana.

1870: English writer Charles Dickens, generally considered the greatest Victorian novelist, died at Gad’s Hill near Chatham, Kent.

1358: The Jacquerie, a revolt of French peasants against abuses inflicted upon them by the nobility of northeastern France, suffered a critical defeat at Meaux.

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica Online Daily

Michelangelo's David installed in Florence: 8 June 1504 – This Day in History

Believed to have been installed this day in 1504 in the cathedral of Florence was Michelangelo‘s statue of David, commissioned in 1501 and considered the prime statement of the Renaissance ideal of perfect humanity.

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2002: Serena Williams defeated her sister Venus Williams to win the French Open tennis title.

1966: The National Football League and the American Football League announced a merger, which became effective in 1970.

1916: Biophysicist Francis Crick, who along with James Dewey Watson and Maurice Wilkins received the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their determination of the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), was born in Northampton, England.

1867: Francis Joseph was crowned king of Hungary.

1191: At the time of the Third Crusade, Richard I joined the Crusaders in Acre, having conquered Cyprus on his way there.

632: Muhammad, the founder of the religion of Islam and of the Muslim community, died in Medina.

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica Online Daily

Lateran Treaty ratified: 7 June 1929 – This Day in History

Through the Lateran Treaty—signed February 11, 1929, by Benito Mussolini for Italy and by Pietro Gasparri, cardinal secretary of state, for the papacy and ratified this day in 1929—Vatican City became a sovereign state.

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1970: British novelist, essayist, and social and literary critic E.M. Forster died in Coventry, Warwickshire, England.

1576: English navigator Martin Frobisher, seeking a Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean, departed England, and weeks later he reached Labrador and Baffin Island and discovered the bay that now bears his name.

1520: Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France and their entourages gathered at the Field of the Cloth of Gold near Calais, France.

1494: The Treaty of Tordesillas—an agreement between Spain and Portugal aimed at settling conflicts over lands newly discovered or explored by Christopher Columbus and other late 15th-century voyagers—was signed.

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica Online Daily

Normandy Invasion begun: 6 June 1944 – This Day in History

Led by U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, an Allied armada of ships, planes, and landing craft and some 156,000 troops began the invasion of northern France from England this day in 1944—the famous “D-Day” of World War II.

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1982: Israel invaded Lebanon and subsequently defeated the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Syrian armed forces, and assorted leftist Lebanese groups.

1968: U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy died of a bullet wound from assassin Sirhan Sirhan.

1934: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)—a U.S. regulatory agency—was established.

1925: The automobile manufacturer Chrysler Corporation was incorporated, with Walter P. Chrysler as president.

1844: George Williams originated the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in London.

1622: Pope Gregory XV created the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith for the organization and direction of the missions of the Roman Catholic Church to the non-Christian world.

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica Online Daily

First American space walk: 5 June 1965 – This Day in History

On this day in 1965, Edward H. White II emerged from the orbital spacecraft Gemini 4 during its third orbit and floated in space for about 20 minutes, thus becoming the first American astronaut to walk in space.

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1947: In an address at Harvard University, U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall advanced the idea of the Marshall Plan, a European self-help program to be financed by the United States.

1944: In World War II, Allied forces entered Rome.

1849: The absolute monarchy in Denmark was abolished and replaced by a new constitution that established a constitutional monarchy with a parliament, as well as freedom of the press, religious freedom, and the right to hold meetings and form associations.

1723: Social philosopher and political economist Adam Smith was baptized in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland.

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica Online Daily

Martha Stewart indicted: 4 June 2003 – This Day in History

On this day in 2003, American entrepreneur and domestic lifestyle innovator Martha Stewart was indicted on criminal charges in relation to a stock sale, and in 2004 she was convicted and sentenced to five months in prison.

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1970: The Kingdom of Tonga achieved independence within the British Commonwealth.

1940: During World War II the evacuation of Dunkirk, France, came to an end, having saved 198,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian troops.

1920: The Treaty of Trianon was signed by representatives of Hungary on one side and the Allied powers on the other, concluding World War I.

1796: Napoleon Bonaparte commanded the Siege of Mantua, which resulted in the exclusion of Austrians from northern Italy.

1783: Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier launched an unmanned hot-air balloon, the first public demonstration of the discovery that hot air in a large lightweight bag rises.

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica Online Daily

Prodemocracy protest in Tiananmen Square crushed by Chinese military: 3 June 1989 – This Day in History

On this day in 1989, the Chinese government called in the military to put down a prodemocracy demonstration staged by more than 100,000 people in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, resulting in hundreds of deaths.

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1932: American baseball great Lou Gehrig hit four consecutive home runs in one game.

1926: American poet Allen Ginsberg, a central figure in the Beat movement, was born in Newark, New Jersey.

1904: American physician and surgeon Charles Richard Drew, a pioneer in the preservation of blood plasma and a lifelong critic of official decisions to separate the blood of whites and blacks in blood banks, was born in Washington, D.C.

1864: Considered one of the worst Northern defeats of the American Civil War, the second Battle of Cold Harbor (Virginia), which would result in the loss of about 7,000 Union soldiers under General Ulysses S. Grant, began.

1808: Jefferson Davis, who became the president of the Confederate States of America, was born in Christian county, Kentucky.

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica Online Daily

Elizabeth II crowned queen: 2 June 1953 – This Day in History

On this day in 1953, 27-year-old Elizabeth II, the elder daughter of King George VI, was crowned queen of the United Kingdom at Westminster Abbey, having taken the throne upon her father’s death in February 1952.

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1997: A jury in Denver, Colorado, found Timothy McVeigh of the militia movement guilty of murder and conspiracy in the deaths of 168 people in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and he was executed in June 2001.

1946: In the aftermath of World War II, the people of Italy passed a referendum to replace the governing monarchy with a republic.

1940: Constantine II, king of Greece from 1964 to 1974, was born in Psikhikó, near Athens.

1886: Frances Folsom, age 21, married U.S. President Grover Cleveland in the White House and became the youngest first lady in American history.

1865: Confederate soldiers yielded to Federal troops in Galveston, Texas, marking one of the final land operations of the American Civil War.

1740: The Marquis de Sade, the French nobleman known for his erotic and perverse writings, was born in Paris.

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica Online Daily